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PFD: What to Do When Your Pelvis Hits the Floor

From the Show: Staying Well
Summary: One out of four women suffer from pelvic floor disorder but feel too embarrassed to do anything about it.
Air Date: 11/11/13
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Colleen Fitzgerald, MD, MS
ColleenColleen M. Fitzgerald, MD, MS, is a board certified attending physician and an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Loyola University Chicago Medical Center.

She serves as Medical Director of the Chronic Pelvic Pain Program at Loyola. Dr. Fitzgerald's areas of clinical expertise and research include pregnancy-related low back and pelvic girdle pain, chronic pelvic pain, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, and pelvic rehabilitation.

Dr. Fitzgerald received her medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 1996 and completed her post-graduate training at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2000, where she served as chief resident.

She is a former National Institutes of Health (NIH) Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Scholar. She is the current recipient of a K23 Patient Oriented Research Award from the NIH/NICHD studying "Mechanistic Distinctions in Female Pelvic Pain Subtypes."

She was recently awarded the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) Nadler Musculoskeletal Research Grant to study "The Efficacy of Ultrasound Guided Posterior Sacroiliac Ligament Corticosteroid Injection in Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Girdle Pain: A Randomized Double Blinded Placebo Controlled Trial."

She is the Co-Chair and scientific committee member for the World Congress on Low Back and Pelvic Pain 2013. She is an active member of the AAMP&R, the Association of Academic Physiatrists, and the American Urogynecologic Society and serves on the board of the International Pelvic Pain Society.

She also is an advisory council member for the Women's Health Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
PFD: What to Do When Your Pelvis Hits the Floor
One out of four women suffer from pelvic floor disorder, but often feel too embarrassed to do anything about it. Pelvic floor disorder (PFD) occurs when the muscles or connective tissues of the pelvic area weaken or are injured. The pelvic organ drops from its usual position and pushes against the walls of your vagina.

Women who have pelvic floor disorder can experience urinary problems, pain or pressure in their pelvis and low back, and muscle spasms. Pelvic floor disorder is more common in women who are obese, pregnant, have given birth or are post-menopausal; but the disorder is not a normal part of getting older.

Medical Director of the Chronic Pelvic Pain program, Associate Professor and pelvic pain specialist, Colleen Fitzgerald, MD, MS, discuss what pelvic floor disorder is and what treatments are available to help ease your suffering.